Positive Psychology

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An alternative approach to understand what happiness or quality of life is about.

Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice.  It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved. 

                            -William Jennings Bryan

 Positive Psychology is the scientific study of the strengths and virtues that enable individuals and communities to thrive.


Positive psychology is one of the newest branches of psychology to emerge. This particular area of psychology focuses on human prospering. While many other branches of psychology tend to focus on dysfunction and abnormal behavior, positive psychology is centered on helping people become happier. 


Positive Psychology has three central concerns:

  • Positive Emotion
  • Positive Individual Traits
  • Positive Institutions





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Positive Emotions

How do you define positive emotions? 


If we look at a whole range of positive emotions—from amusement to awe to interest to gratitude to inspiration—what they all have in common is that they are reactions to your current circumstances.  Positive emotions have a kind of alluring glitter dust on them. You want to rea­rrange your day to get more of those sparkling moments.

Positive emotions tell us not just what the body needs but what we need mentally and emotionally and what our future selves might need. They help us broaden our minds and our outlook and build our resources down the road.  Understanding positive emotions entails the study of contentment with the past, happiness in the present, and hope for the future.


Read more: How to Maintain and Enhance Positive Emotions


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6 Times When Your Intuition Is Never Wrong
There are moments when it is wise to ask for a second opinion. Then, there are these situations, when no one knows the best answer but you.
6 Times When You Must Trust Yourself    



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These thought-provoking lessons generally take one to two hours to complete. The purpose of every lesson is to empower us all to be more effective and inspiring in building a brighter future.


Positive Individual Traits

Traits of human consciousness; or perhaps we can call them the endowments of human character, or simply character or positive individual traits.

Understanding positive individual traits consists of the study of the strengths and virtues, such as the capacity for love and work, courage, compassion, resilience, creativity, curiosity, integrity, self-knowledge, moderation, self-control, and wisdom.


Everybody has their own personal traits which can be determined arguably either hereditary or by the environment in which a person grew up in.  They can be defined as the sum of the total physical, mental, emotional and social characteristics of an individual or by the pattern of thoughts, feelings and behavior which makes them unique.


Some people wake up excited to face the day while others pull the covers over their heads.  Do you realize your positive traits?


Attitudes toward life colors everything. Those who have a positive attitude do better at work, have stronger relationships with family and friends and get sick less often. Every individual is unique, but those with positive attitudes tend to share certain traits. Surrounding themselves with positive people, they manage to keep a youthful outlook no matter how old they are.


Be Grateful


Positive individuals give thanks for everything they have. People who focus on what is missing from their lives end up feeling frustrated and jealous of others. An upbeat attitude helps positive people see things from a different perspective. Looking at how far they have come, instead of how far they have to go, helps to keep positive people on the path to success. A positive person focuses on the goods things in life, not the bad.

Live in the Moment


Holding onto past hurts and disappointments can keep anyone from moving forward. Another characteristic of a positive person is the ability to let go of the past. Everyone makes mistakes in life, there is no way around it. However, positive people learn from their slip-ups in order to avoid similar ones in the future. Positive people make peace with their pasts and keep their eyes on the future. By forgiving themselves and other people, these individuals put their energy into moving forward, not backward.



One secret for remaining positive is to laugh every day. Seeing the humor in life is important. No one should take things seriously all the time. Spending some time being goofy or joking around with friends helps people focus on the good things in life, not the bad. Positive individuals find ways to laugh. Funny movies, humorous books and jokes can keep anyone giggling instead of being a grouch.



Those with positive attitudes make sure they take some time for themselves every day. Outdoor physical activity helps release tension and relieves anxiety. Working on a favorite hobby or volunteering to work with the less fortunate are ways to boost gratitude and happy thoughts. Yoga is known for calming the mind and relaxing the body. Experts agree that daily practice can help relax and center even the most stressed-out individuals. Nurturing all parts of their personalities gives positive people the strength to face the day to day challenges of their lives.


Positive Institutions


The enhancement of strengths.

Understanding positive institutions entails the study of the strengths that foster better communities, such as justice, responsibility, civility, parenting, nurturance, work ethic, leadership, teamwork, purpose, and tolerance.


There are many types of individual strengths such as character, talents, skills and knowledge.  By enchancing the use of one's strenghts in daily life, one can expect increased well-being.  Organizations that support employees strengths discovery and use will find it is not only good for the individual, but for the business.  Through your strengths you can find yourself in a state of flow, lose track of time, become absorbed in your work and function at the highest level of productivity.


What could be possible if your workplace was a positive institution?

  • A high pathway to well-being is positive institutions.  positive institutions enable your use of positive traits which enhance positive experiences and emotions.
  • Part of the positive experience is finding meaning in what we do.
  • While we experience positive emotions we build sustainable physical, psychological, emotional and social resources.

Read more: You have the Power


 A Time and Place For Everything

Positive people do not fight every battle. Letting go of small issues will free up time to work on more important things. Sure, they may be disappointed that a co-worker got the better cubicle, but, at the end of the day, it doesn't really matter. Instead of complaining about their workspace, positive people focus on improving their performance. They know a sunny cubicle won't seem so important when they are sitting in the corner office.


Being Part of Your Community


Being a part of a community is sometimes taken for granted.  Many of us have a baseline of social groups we have been a part of ranging from playgroups when small, school classes, work associates and friends mixed in between. But what if you haven’t had the opportunity to make connections with social groups you relate to? Or what if past relationships have faded away and you are suddenly having to “make friends” as an adult?


We should recognize that finding a social group that you want be a part of is not always easy. What if you are having trouble finding groups of people you can relate to?  What if you can’t find programs where you feel you “fit in”?


Get involved!


Challenge youself to take advantage of the past experience to meet new friends, become a part of a welcoming and enriching community, or bring old friends together to reunite.


Volunteer - Community volunteering refers to volunteers who work to improve community enhancement efforts in the area in which they live.  Neighborhood, church, and community groups play a key role in building strong cities from the neighborhoods up.  Supporting these understaffed groups can enable them to succeed in a variety of areas, which connect social, environmental, and economic boundaries.